Turbulent amplification of magnetic fields in laboratory laser-produced shock waves

NATURE PHYSICS 10 (2014) 520-524

J Meinecke, HW Doyle, F Miniati, AR Bell, R Bingham, R Crowston, RP Drake, M Fatenejad, M Koenig, Y Kuramitsu, CC Kuranz, DQ Lamb, D Lee, MJ MacDonald, CD Murphy, H-S Park, A Pelka, A Ravasio, Y Sakawa, AA Schekochihin, A Scopatz, P Tzeferacos, WC Wan, NC Woolsey, R Yurchak, B Reville, G Gregori

Electron-phonon equilibration in laser-heated gold films

PHYSICAL REVIEW B 90 (2014) ARTN 014305

TG White, P Mabey, DO Gericke, NJ Hartley, HW Doyle, D McGonegle, DS Rackstraw, A Higginbotham, G Gregori

From cosmic ray source to the galactic pool

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 437 (2014) 2802-2805

KM Schure, AR Bell

The Galactic cosmic ray spectrum is a remarkably straight power law. Our current understanding is that the dominant sources that accelerate cosmic rays up to the knee (3 × 1015 eV) or perhaps even the ankle (3 × 1018 eV), are young Galactic supernova remnants. In theory, however, there are various reasons why the spectrum may be different for different sources, and may not even be a power law if non-linear shock acceleration applies during the most efficient stages of acceleration.We show how the spectrum at the accelerator translates to the spectrum that makes up the escaping cosmic rays that replenish the Galactic pool of cosmic rays. We assume that cosmic ray confinement, and thus escape, is linked to the level of magnetic field amplification, and that the magnetic field is amplified by streaming cosmic rays according to the non-resonant hybrid or resonant instability. When a fixed fraction of the energy is transferred to cosmic rays, it turns out that a source spectrum that is flatter than E-2 will result in an E-2 escape spectrum, whereas a steeper source spectrum will result in an escape spectrum with equal steepening. This alleviates some of the concern that may arise from expected flat or concave cosmic ray spectra associated with non-linear shock modification. © 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.



RT Wicks, DA Roberts, A Mallet, AA Schekochihin, TS Horbury, CHK Chen

Turbulent amplification of magnetic fields in laboratory laser-produced shock waves

Nature Physics Nature Publishing Group 10 (2014) 520-524

J Meinecke, HW Doyle, F Miniati, AR Bell, R Bingham, R Crowston, RP Drake, M Fatenejad, M Koenig, Y Kuramitsu, CC Kuranz, DQ Lamb, D Lee, MJ Macdonald, CD Murphy, H-S Park, A Pelka, A Ravasio, Y Sakawa, AA Schekochihin, A Scopatz, P Tzeferacos, WC Wan, NC Woolsey, R Yurchak, B Reville, G Gregori

X-ray1-3 and radio4-6 observations of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A reveal the presence of magnetic fields about 100 times stronger than those in the surrounding interstellar medium. Field coincident with the outer shock probably arises through a nonlinear feedback process involving cosmic rays2,7,8. The origin of the large magnetic field in the interior of the remnant is less clear but it is presumably stretched and amplified by turbulent motions. Turbulence may be generated by hydrodynamic instability at the contact discontinuity between the supernova ejecta and the circumstellar gas9. However, optical observations of Cassiopeia A indicate that the ejecta are interacting with a highly inhomogeneous, dense circumstellar cloud bank formed before the supernova explosion10-12. Herewe investigate the possibility that turbulent amplification is induced when the outer shock overtakes dense clumps in the ambient medium13-15. We report laboratory experiments that indicate the magnetic field is amplified when the shock interacts with a plastic grid. We show that our experimental results can explain the observed synchrotron emission in the interior of the remnant. The experiment also provides a laboratory example of magnetic field amplification by turbulence in plasmas, a physical process thought to occur in many astrophysical phenomena. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Comparison of BES measurements of ion-scale turbulence with direct gyro-kinetic simulations of MAST L-mode plasmas

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 56 (2014)

AR Field, D Dunai, Y-C Ghim, P Hill, B McMillan, CM Roach, S Saarelma, AA Schekochihin, S Zoletnik

Observations of ion-scale (kyρi 1) density turbulence of relative amplitude 0.2% are available on the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) using a 2D (8 radial × 4 poloidal channel) imaging beam emission spectroscopy diagnostic. Spatial and temporal characteristics of this turbulence, i.e., amplitudes, correlation times, radial and perpendicular correlation lengths and apparent phase velocities of the density contours, are determined by means of correlation analysis. For a low-density, L-mode discharge with strong equilibrium flow shear exhibiting an internal transport barrier in the ion channel, the observed turbulence characteristics are compared with synthetic density turbulence data generated from global, non-linear, gyro-kinetic simulations using the particle-in-cell code NEMORB. This validation exercise highlights the need to include increasingly sophisticated physics, e.g., kinetic treatment of trapped electrons, equilibrium flow shear and collisions, to reproduce most of the characteristics of the observed turbulence. Even so, significant discrepancies remain: an underprediction by the simulations of the turbulence amplitude and heat flux at plasma periphery and the finding that the correlation times of the numerically simulated turbulence are typically two orders of magnitude longer than those measured in MAST. Comparison of these correlation times with various linear timescales suggests that, while the measured turbulence is strong and may be 'critically balanced', the simulated turbulence is weak. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Laminar shocks in high power laser plasma interactions

Physics of Plasmas 21 (2014)

RA Cairns, R Bingham, P Norreys, R Trines

We propose a theory to describe laminar ion sound structures in a collisionless plasma. Reflection of a small fraction of the upstream ions converts the well known ion acoustic soliton into a structure with a steep potential gradient upstream and with downstream oscillations. The theory provides a simple interpretation of results dating back more than forty years but, more importantly, is shown to provide an explanation for recent observations on laser produced plasmas relevant to inertial fusion and to ion acceleration. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

Experimental signatures of critically balanced turbulence in MAST

Physical Review Letters 110 (2013)

Y-C Ghim, A Schekochihin, AR Field, IG Abel, M Barnes, G Colyer, SC Cowley, FI Parra, D Dunai, S Zoletnik

Beam emission spectroscopy (BES) measurements of ion-scale density fluctuations in the MAST tokamak are used to show that the turbulence correlation time, the drift time associated with ion temperature or density gradients, the particle (ion) streaming time along the magnetic field, and the magnetic drift time are consistently comparable, suggesting a "critically balanced" turbulence determined by the local equilibrium. The resulting scalings of the poloidal and radial correlation lengths are derived and tested. The nonlinear time inferred from the density fluctuations is longer than the other times; its ratio to the correlation time scales as ν*i-0. 8±0.1, where ν*i=ion  ⠀Šcollision   rate/streaming   rate. This is consistent with turbulent decorrelation being controlled by a zonal component, invisible to the BES, with an amplitude exceeding those of the drift waves by ∼ν*i-0.8. Published by the American Physical Society.

Numerical modeling of the sensitivity of x-ray driven implosions to low-mode flux asymmetries

Physical Review Letters 110 (2013)

RHH Scott, DS Clark, DK Bradley, DA Callahan, MJ Edwards, SW Haan, OS Jones, BK Spears, MM Marinak, RPJ Town, PA Norreys, LJ Suter

The sensitivity of inertial confinement fusion implosions, of the type performed on the National Ignition Facility (NIF), to low-mode flux asymmetries is investigated numerically. It is shown that large-amplitude, low-order mode shapes (Legendre polynomial P4), resulting from low-order flux asymmetries, cause spatial variations in capsule and fuel momentum that prevent the deuterium and tritium (DT) "ice" layer from being decelerated uniformly by the hot spot pressure. This reduces the transfer of implosion kinetic energy to internal energy of the central hot spot, thus reducing the neutron yield. Furthermore, synthetic gated x-ray images of the hot spot self-emission indicate that P4 shapes may be unquantifiable for DT layered capsules. Instead the positive P4 asymmetry "aliases" itself as an oblate P2 in the x-ray images. Correction of this apparent P2 distortion can further distort the implosion while creating a round x-ray image. Long wavelength asymmetries may be playing a significant role in the observed yield reduction of NIF DT implosions relative to detailed postshot two-dimensional simulations. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Simulation of laser-driven, ablated plasma flows in collisionless shock experiments on OMEGA and the NIF

High Energy Density Physics 9 (2013) 192-197

MJ Grosskopf, RP Drake, CC Kuranz, EM Rutter, JS Ross, NL Kugland, C Plechaty, BA Remington, A Spitkovsky, L Gargate, G Gregori, A Bell, CD Murphy, J Meinecke, B Reville, Y Sakawa, Y Kuramitsu, H Takabe, DH Froula, G Fiksel, F Miniati, M Koenig, A Ravasio, E Liang, W Fu, N Woolsey, H-S Park

Experiments investigating the physics of interpenetrating, collisionless, ablated plasma flows have become an important area of research in the high-energy-density field. In order to evaluate the feasibility of designing experiments that will generate a collisionless shock mediated by the Weibel instability on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) laser, computer simulations using the Center for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics (CRASH) radiation-hydrodynamics model have been carried out. This paper reports assessment of whether the experiment can reach the required scale size while maintaining the low interflow collisionality necessary for the collisionless shock to form. Comparison of simulation results with data from Omega experiments shows the ability of the CRASH code to model these ablated systems. The combined results indicate that experiments on the NIF are capable of reaching the regimes necessary for the formation of a collisionless shock in a laboratory experiment. © 2013.

High Mach-number collisionless shock driven by a laser with an external magnetic field

EPJ Web of Conferences 59 (2013)

T Morita, Y Sakawa, Y Kuramitsu, T Ide, K Nishio, M Kuwada, H Ide, K Tsubouchi, H Yoneda, A Nishida, T Namiki, T Norimatsu, K Tomita, K Nakayama, K Inoue, K Uchino, M Nakatsutsumi, A Pelka, M Koenig, Q Dong, D Yuan, G Gregori, H Takabe

Collisionless shocks are produced in counter-streaming plasmas with an external magnetic field. The shocks are generated due to an electrostatic field generated in counter-streaming laser-irradiated plasmas, as reported previously in a series of experiments without an external magnetic field [T. Morita et al., Phys. Plasmas, 17, 122702 (2010), Kuramitsu et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 106, 175002 (2011)] via laser-irradiation of a double-CH-foil target. A magnetic field is applied to the region between two foils by putting an electro-magnet (∼10 T) perpendicular to the direction of plasma expansion. The generated shocks show different characteristics later in time (t > 20ns). © Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013.

FLASH hydrodynamic simulations of experiments to explore the generation of cosmological magnetic fields

High Energy Density Physics 9 (2013) 75-81

A Scopatz, M Fatenejad, N Flocke, G Gregori, M Koenig, DQ Lamb, D Lee, J Meinecke, A Ravasio, P Tzeferacos, K Weide, R Yurchak

We report the results of FLASH hydrodynamic simulations of the experiments conducted by the University of Oxford High Energy Density Laboratory Astrophysics group and its collaborators at the Laboratoire pour l'Utilisation de Lasers Intenses (LULI). In these experiments, a long-pulse laser illuminates a target in a chamber filled with Argon gas, producing shock waves that generate magnetic fields via the Biermann battery mechanism. The simulations show that the result of the laser illuminating the target is a series of complex hydrodynamic phenomena. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Stream-orbit misalignment I: The dangers of orbit-fitting

ArXiv (2013)

JL Sanders, J Binney

Tidal streams don't, in general, delineate orbits. A stream-orbit misalignment is expected to lead to biases when using orbit-fitting to constrain models for the Galactic potential. In this first of two papers we discuss the expected magnitude of the misalignment and the resulting dangers of using orbit-fitting algorithms to constrain the potential. We summarize data for known streams which should prove useful for constraining the Galactic potential, and compute their actions in a realistic Galactic potential. We go on to discuss the formation of tidal streams in angle-action space, and explain why, in general, streams do not delineate orbits. The magnitude of the stream-orbit misalignment is quantified for a logarithmic potential and a multi-component Galactic potential. Specifically, we focus on the expected misalignment for the known streams. By introducing a two-parameter family of realistic Galactic potentials we demonstrate that assuming these streams delineate orbits can lead to order one errors in the halo flattening and halo-to-disc force ratio at the Sun. We present a discussion of the dependence of these results on the progenitor mass, and demonstrate that the misalignment is mass-independent for the range of masses of observed streams. Hence, orbit-fitting does not yield better constraints on the potential if one uses narrower, lower-mass streams.

Laboratory experiments on plasma jets in a magnetic field using high-power lasers

EPJ Web of Conferences 59 (2013)

K Nishio, Y Sakawa, Y Kuramitsu, T Morita, T Ide, M Kuwada, M Koga, T Kato, T Norimatsu, C Gregory, N Woolsey, C Murphy, G Gregori, K Schaar, A Diziere, M Koenig, A Pelka, S Wang, Q Dong, Y Li, H Takabe

The experiments to simulate astrophysical jet generation are performed using Gekko XII (GXII) HIPER laser system at the Institute of Laser Engineering. In the experiments a fast plasma flow generated by shooting a CH plane (10 μm thickness) is observed at the rear side of the plane. By separating the focal spot of the main beams, a non-uniform plasma is generated. The non-uniform plasma flow in an external magnetic field (0.2∼0.3 T) perpendicular to the plasma is more collimated than that without the external magnetic field. The plasma β, the ratio between the plasma and magnetic pressure, is ≠1, and the magnetic Reynolds number is ∼150 in the collimated plasma. It is considered that the magnetic field is distorted by the plasma flow and enhances the jet collimation. © Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013.

High-power laser experiments to study collisionless shock generation

EPJ Web of Conferences 59 (2013)

Y Sakawa, Y Kuramitsu, T Morita, T Kato, H Tanji, T Ide, K Nishio, M Kuwada, T Tsubouchi, H Ide, T Norimatsu, C Gregory, N Woolsey, K Schaar, C Murphy, G Gregori, A Diziere, A Pelka, M Koenig, S Wang, Q Dong, Y Li, H-S Park, S Ross, N Kugland, D Ryutov, B Remington, A Spitkovsky, D Froula, H Takabe

A collisionless Weibel-instability mediated shock in a self-generated magnetic field is studied using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation [Kato and Takabe, Astophys. J. Lett. 681, L93 (2008)]. It is predicted that the generation of the Weibel shock requires to use NIF-class high-power laser system. Collisionless electrostatic shocks are produced in counter-streaming plasmas using Gekko XII laser system [Kuramitsu et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 175002 (2011)]. A NIF facility time proposal is approved to study the formation of the collisionless Weibel shock. OMEGA and OMEGA EP experiments have been started to study the plasma conditions of counter-streaming plasmas required for the NIF experiment using Thomson scattering and to develop proton radiography diagnostics. © Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013.

Pair plasma cushions in the hole-boring scenario

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 55 (2013)

JG Kirk, AR Bell, CP Ridgers

Pulses from a 10 PW laser are predicted to produce large numbers of gamma-rays and electron-positron pairs on hitting a solid target. However, a pair plasma, if it accumulates in front of the target, may partially shield it from the pulse. Using stationary, one-dimensional solutions of the two-fluid (electron-positron) and Maxwell equations, including a classical radiation reaction term, we examine this effect in the hole-boring scenario. We find the collective effects of a pair plasma 'cushion' substantially reduce the reflectivity, converting the absorbed flux into high-energy gamma-rays. There is also a modest increase in the laser intensity needed to achieve threshold for a non-linear pair cascade. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

X-ray scattering by many-particle systems

New Journal of Physics 15 (2013)

BJB Crowley, G Gregori

This paper reviews the treatment of high-frequency Thomson scattering in the non-relativistic and near-relativistic regimes with the primary purpose of understanding the nature of the frequency redistribution correction to the differential cross-section. This correction is generally represented by a factor involving the ratio ω α /ω β of the scattered (α) to primary (β) frequencies of the radiation. In some formulae given in the literature, the ratio appears squared, in others it does not. In Compton scattering, the frequency change is generally understood to be due to the recoil of the particle as a result of energy and momentum conservation in the photon-electron system. In this case, the Klein-Nishina formula gives the redistribution factor as . In the case of scattering by a many-particle system, however, the frequency and momentum changes are no longer directly interdependent but depend also upon the properties of the medium, which are encoded in the dynamic structure factor. We show that the redistribution factor explicit in the quantum cross-section (that seen by a photon) is ω α /ω β, which is not squared. Formulae for the many-body cross-section given in the literature, in which the factor is squared, can often be attributed to a different (classical) definition of the cross-section, though not all authors are explicit about which definition they are using. What is shown not to be true is that the structure factor simply gives the ratio of the many-electron to one-electron differential cross-sections, as is sometimes supposed. Mixing up the cross-section definitions can lead to errors when describing x-ray scattering. We illustrate the nature of the discrepancy by deriving the energy-integrated angular distributions, with first-order relativistic corrections, for classical and quantum scattering measurements, as well as the radiative opacity for photon diffusion in a Thomson-scattering medium, which is generally considered to be governed by quantum processes. © IOP Publishing and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.



J Kos, T Zwitter, EK Grebel, O Bienayme, J Binney, J Bland-Hawthorn, KC Freeman, BK Gibson, G Gilmore, G Kordopatis, JF Navarro, Q Parker, WA Reid, G Seabroke, A Siebert, A Siviero, M Steinmetz, F Watson, RFG Wyse

Effect of collisions on amplification of laser beams by Brillouin scattering in plasmas

Physics of Plasmas 20 (2013)

KA Humphrey, DC Speirs, R Bingham, RMGM Trines, P Norreys, F Fiuza, RA Cairns, LO Silva

We report on particle in cell simulations of energy transfer between a laser pump beam and a counter-propagating seed beam using the Brillouin scattering process in uniform plasma including collisions. The results presented show that the ion acoustic waves excited through naturally occurring Brillouin scattering of the pump field are preferentially damped without affecting the driven Brillouin scattering process resulting from the beating of the pump and seed fields together. We find that collisions, including the effects of Landau damping, allow for a more efficient transfer of energy between the laser beams, and a significant reduction in the amount of seed pre-pulse produced. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Impact of extended preplasma on energy coupling in kilojoule energy relativistic laser interaction with cone wire targets relevant to fast ignition

New Journal of Physics 15 (2013)

T Yabuuchi, R Mishra, C McGuffey, B Qiao, MS Wei, H Sawada, Y Sentoku, T Ma, DP Higginson, KU Akli, D Batani, H Chen, LA Gizzi, MH Key, AJ MacKinnon, HS McLean, PA Norreys, PK Patel, RB Stephens, Y Ping, W Theobald, C Stoeckl, FN Beg

Cone-guided fast ignition laser fusion depends critically on details of the interaction of an intense laser pulse with the inside tip of a cone. Generation of relativistic electrons in the laser plasma interaction (LPI) with a gold cone and their subsequent transport into a copper wire have been studied using a kJ-class intense laser pulse, OMEGA EP (850 J, 10 ps). Weobserved that the laser-pulse-energy-normalized copper K signal from the Cu wire attached to the Au cone is significantly reduced (by a factor of 5) as compared to that from identical targets using the Titan laser (150 J, 0.7 ps) with 60 × less energy in the prepulse. We conclude that the decreased coupling is due to increased prepulse energy rather than 10 ps pulse duration, for which this effect has not been previously explored. The collisional particle-in-cell code PICLS demonstrates that the preformed plasma has a significant impact on generation of electrons and their transport. In particular, a longer scale length preplasma significantly reduces the energy coupling from the intense laser to the wire due to the larger offset distance between the relativistic critical density surface and the cone tip as well as a wider divergence of source electrons. We also observed that laser-driven plasma ionization increase in the LPI region can potentially alter the electron density profile during the laser interaction, forcing the electron source to be moved farther away from the cone tip which contributes to the reduction of energy coupling. © IOP Publishing and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.